Do Sunflowers Grow Best in the Sun or the Shade?

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Do Sunflowers Grow Best in the Sun or the Shade?
Sunflowers only turn their faces toward the sun when they are budding, not when they are blooming fully. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Sunflowers are tall, bright yellow plants that are known for their habit of turning to follow the sun. When planting sunflowers, remember they prefer sun to shade, and will thrive best if they are in bright locations.

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Sunlight Requirements

According to Colorado State University's website, sunflowers require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. If they receive less light than this, they will stretch for it, causing spindly stems that are easy to knock to the ground.

Soil Requirements

While sunflowers tolerate a wide range of flowers ranging from sands to clays, they do require soil with a high amount of nitrogen. Feed the sunflowers regularly with a fertiliser that is high in nitrogen to prevent limited growth. Sunflowers also require soil with good drainage, so do not plant them where there is standing water.

Controlling Weeds

Weed sunflowers regularly, especially early in their growth when they can be shaded by quick-growing weeds. Lay a 4- to 6-inch layer of mulch consisting of lawn clippings or compost around the sunflowers to aid in weed control.

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